Visitors to Japan will be familiar with the country's obsession with the weird and wonderful. From rabbit-petting cafes to musical toilet cubicles, you'll find it all here. Something which often takes first-time visitors by surprise is the range of unusual hotels. Along with the usual four- and five-star hotel chains and traditional Japanese inns, visitors to the city can always crash at a capsule or love hotel. Most of these hotels are reasonably priced and make an interesting alternative to the usual budget-style accommodation. If you have a trip booked to Tokyo and need a place to stay, check out one of these unusual lodgings.
Feeling the Love
Are you wandering around the city after a big night out with your partner? Why not check into one of Tokyo's famous love hotels. Love hotels originated in Osaka in 1968, and have become a Tokyo institution, popular with both the business and party crowds. You can find love hotels with all kinds of luxury fittings. You can even find a Hello Kitty-themed room. Most of the hotels are around the Shibuya district. But you can find them in any area where there is a lot of nightlife. Check-in begins at 9 p.m.
Feel Like an Astronaut in a Capsule Hotel
If you suffer from claustrophobia, you may want to give this next type of lodging a miss. Capsule hotels are exactly what their name suggests: tiny rooms only big enough to fit a bed and a TV. Invented in Osaka in 1979, they quickly became part of the Tokyo budget hotel scene, as they take up very little space in an already spatially challenged city. Most of them cater to men, but there are some with floors just for women. Showers and robes are available, and you are encouraged to shower on arrival. Don't be surprised if you are told off for talking on your phone; talking loudly is a big no-no, as the thin walls tend to give away all of your secrets.
Uniquely Japanese Experience at a Budget Price
If you want a uniquely Japanese experience at a budget-friendly price, you could always try out a Manga Kissa. These little establishments were first set up as reading rooms for Manga comic-book fans and have since crossed the line to budget accommodation. There won't be a bed as such, but more of a comfy reclining chair with a TV and Internet access. OK, so it's not for everybody, but where else in Tokyo can you bed down for $12 a night?
One boutique hotel that is on the quirky side is the Claska. This is a stylish designer hotel with a range of (mostly) contemporary rooms, but you should check out the DIY rooms. The hotel owner lets an artist loose in the room and tells them to come up with their own concept. The most popular room is the stuffed animal room, which is supposed to resemble something from the artist's childhood dream, and features stuffed animals as centerpieces.
Now you know where you can bed down for the night in Tokyo. You might have to sacrifice some sleep for the experience of these quirky lodgings, but hey, this is Tokyo.